PROFILE OF MOHAMMAD MORSI
Grizzly-bearded, baggy-suited and humble in manner, Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s new head of state concluded the odyssey of 80-years wait and relentless sacrifices given by Muslim Brotherhood under the various despots for this yearning political goal. Born in 1951 in a rambling brick house where geese and ducks roamed freely in the dusty Nile Delta village of Edwa, north of Cairo. Being the eldest one among of five brothers, his father used to took him to school on the back of a donkey. He received a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in engineering from Cairo University in 1975 and 1978, when these seats of learning in the Egypt were the hotbed of Muslim Brotherhood Islamic activities. He then received his PhD in engineering from the University of Southern California in the U.S in 1982. He was an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northridge, from 1982 to 1985. In 1985, he returned to Egypt to teach at Zagazig University. Morsi is married to Nagla Ali Mahmoud. She reportedly stated that she does not want to be referred to as "First Lady" but rather "First Servant of the Egyptian public". Two of Morsi's five children were born in California and are U.S. citizens by birth.
Morsi was a Member of Parliament in the People's Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005 and a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood. He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), a political party, when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May–June 2012 presidential election.
Morsi served as a Member of Parliament representing Zagazig from 2000 to 2005; he was elected as an independent candidate because the Brotherhood was technically barred from running candidates for office under President Hosni Mubarak. After Khairat El-Shater was disqualified from the 2012 presidential election, Morsi, who was initially nominated as a backup candidate, emerged as the new Muslim Brotherhood candidate. Following the first round of Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections where exit polls suggested a 25.5% share of the vote for Morsi, he was officially announced as the president on the 24th of June 2012 following a subsequent run-off vote. On 24 June 2012, Morsi was announced as the winner of the election with 51.73% of the vote. Almost immediately afterward, he resigned from the presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But it’s said that uneasy lies the head which wears the crown, Morsi’s presidency on domestic policy is still hazy, as Egypt's bureaucracy remains stocked with Mubarak loyalists and could block any changes that Morsi tries to push through. Dealings with the military generals would be a bit trickier, as the recent head-to-head has shown. The Brotherhood wants the military to restore its hold on parliament and by extension its hold on the constitution. The generals seem unwilling to give that up. Morsi seeks to influence the drafting of a new constitution of Egypt. Morsi favors a constitution that protects civil rights, yet is enshrined in Islamic law. It will be great challenge to the Morsi to honor all the Egypt's international treaties signed by the earlier head of state and particularly Egypt's treaty with Israel. The new foreign policy of Egypt under the reign of MB can change the geopolitics of the region which they promised to the electorates in their election campaign.
In a recent press conference Morsi implied that he would attempt to rule by consensus and talked of Egypt being a "civil and democratic" state. He has also promised that his cabinet would reflect national consensus and his premier would be an independent national figure not affiliated with the Brotherhood.
At the same time, Western governments’ reaction to Morsi win shows that the time has come for west to come out of the illusion and acknowledge the verdict of people and stop the Islamophobia bashing. As he again and again pledged and assure the international community that "We will keep all agreements and international treaties we signed with the whole world." Subsequently, he stated that "... it is necessary to return to normal relations with Tehran and strengthen them in order to create a balance at the regional level" because "... the normalisation of relations between Iran and Egypt is in the interest of its peoples can set Egypt at odds with the international community, currently seeking to restrict Iran's access to nuclear weapons. In front of a crowd of Cairo University students he had repeated the historic motto of the MB: "... The Koran is our constitution, the prophet is our guide, jihad is our path and death in the name of God is our goal" are such statements which should be avoided this time otherwise it can jeopardize the whole political game of Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi’s words have been quite clear. It is therefore surprising to see international congratulations pouring in to the new President. Barack Obama called "... to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential elections of Egypt" and to reaffirm that "... the U.S. will continue to support the transition of Egypt toward democracy." In response to those who argued that Egypt’s election of a Muslim Brotherhood President showed that the Arab Spring was a debacle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded: “... we judge individuals and parties that are elected in a democratic process by their actions, not by their religious affiliation.” Italian Foreign Minister Terzi described Morsi’s election "... a step forward in strengthening the institutions and strengthen the friendship with Rome." June 24th, 2012 will be a date to remember not only for Egypt, but also for the West. The proclamation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, as the first president of post-Mubarak Egypt confirms that the Arab world is in the midst of an "Islamist Spring".
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